DURHAM, NC – November 29, 2012 – NC IDEA, an organization committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today that it has awarded over $200,000 in grants to five North Carolina startups. Since its inception in 2006, NC IDEA’s grant program has awarded over $2.7M to 72 companies across the state, with these most recent awards being the fourteenth cycle of the program.

The five grant recipients were chosen after a 4-month application and selection process, which drew 123 applications from 19 counties across the state. A committee comprised of experienced venture investors, industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs assisted NC IDEA with selecting 23 companies to submit full proposals which was further narrowed down to ten finalists who were given the opportunity to pitch their idea in person, ultimately resulting in five winners.

The following five companies are NC IDEA’s most recent grant recipients for the Fall 2012 cycle:

Arcametrics Systems – Durham, NC (Triangle Startup Factory Alumni)
Arcametrics Systems uses its patent-pending Arcametrics Correlation Engine to connect data without using traditional data keys. The advantage is that data that would normally be missed, such as imperfect, anonymous, or privacy-restricted data, can be incorporated to build larger, more predictive consumer audiences. Arcametrics builds target audiences for marketers, and helps companies with privacy restrictions monetize their data. Learn more at www.arcametrics.com.

Lucerno Dynamics – Raleigh, NC
Lucerno Dyanmics has developed patent-pending technology that provides oncologists an analysis of a tumor’s response to ongoing treatment early in a patient’s treatment course. The Lucerno device is non-invasive, patient-friendly, easy to use, extremely cost-effective and provides oncologists a quantitative analysis that allows them to pursue alternative treatment courses for patients with non-responsive tumors. By stopping ineffective treatments early, oncologists can improve patient outcomes, minimize patient side effects and save significant healthcare dollars. Learn more at www.lucernodynamics.com.

MEFIVER is pursuing the opportunity to revolutionize denim manufacturing and rejuvenate the American textile industry with a more sustainable and innovative denim product. MEFIVER’s proprietary process: 1) eliminates the waste and harm involved in current denim manufacturing operations; 2) streamlines the production process; 3) allows for quicker speed to market, responsiveness to consumer demand, and product customizability through creating and implementing truly innovative visual surface effects; and 4) promotes NC/US T+AM productivity and employment through maximizing local/regional supplier relationships. Learn more at www.mefiver.com.

PopUp – Durham, NC (Triangle Startup Factory Company)
PopUp is about communication tied to place. PopUp’s mobile-first platform facilitates the attachment of place-relevant information to its physical context, and the ‘serendipitous’ discovery and delivery of content through a rich mobile application experience. PopUp is engineered from the ground up to optimize communications, exchanges and sharing of digital content using location. For consumers and creators alike, PopUp offers tools to create, share, discover and consume place-relevant information. Learn more at www.popupapp.co.

Starfish – Durham, NC
Starfish eliminates the pain of managing the big data ecosystem, thereby enabling companies to focus on the data and applications that drive revenue. With Starfish’s innovative features, business analysts can quickly understand how their applications are performing, developers and operations personnel can collaborate to diagnose problems easily, IT managers can tune entire workloads without trial-and-error, and CIOs can eliminate guesswork from capacity planning decisions for bare metal clusters and the cloud. Being designed from the ground up for the no-one-size-fits-all nature of big data analytics, Starfish is a major improvement on existing solutions that apply traditional IT monitoring technology to individual components of the big data ecosystem. Learn more at www.starfishadvisor.com.

NC IDEA’s grant program is a catalyst for technological breakthroughs developed in North Carolina that have a significant potential to successfully transition into commercially viable high-growth enterprises. The grants, which are up to $50,000 per recipient, support business plan research and development, reduce risk of early failure and advance projects to the point of suitability for angel or venture capital investment. In addition to the funding, NC IDEA and its network of seasoned business and technology partners mentor and guide the grant recipients through the complex growth cycles that young companies encounter, while also connecting the startups with other investors, institutions and business leaders to maximize their prospects for commercial success.

The upcoming Spring 2013 grant opportunity for North Carolina based companies will open in mid-February.

NC IDEA, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, targets promising technology companies that need help bridging the gap between initial product development and venture capital funding. The organization helps young, innovative companies mainly by providing early financing in the form of grants. NC IDEA further supports its grant winning companies by leveraging the organization’s solid partnerships and strategic alliances to assist companies through research phases, business challenges and growth goals. Learn more at www.ncidea.org.